Women’s Studies 101


This morning, over breakfast, Charles stuck his tongue out at the kids (luckily he wasn’t eating breakfast yet) and the kids cracked up.  And Rose said only babies stuck their tongues out and Daddy was a man.  And Dillon said sometimes girls stuck their tongues out and that was kind of immature behavior.

And I said, “Be careful ascribing behaviors to boys or girls.  It is almost never okay.  The only  example I can think of where it is ever okay is-”

Charles interrupts “Peeing!”

I continue, “The only two examples I can think of where it is ever okay are peeing and the role in reproduction.  What you are doing is called stereotyping, and that is pretty dangerous behavior.  People have been using stereotyping to keep each other down pretty much forever.”

And we proceed to have a great discussion about gender stereotyping, and self-fulfilling prophecies, and institutional discrimination.  (Using more of the concepts and less of the jargon.)  I was thrilled at how much D understood, though I shouldn’t have been since I am sure these are things they talk about – at least a little bit – at school.  He especially understood when we talked about how these expectations for behavior hurt boys.  He’s a sensitive kid and he knows it, and I am sure he’s been made fun of for crying or whatever.

I am constantly amazed at how big my kids are getting, how much they understand, and what they are capable of.  They are brilliant and beautiful and I am grateful for them every day.

Ok – have to de-sapify this post a bit so here’s a dose of parental reality and levity.  D stayed home sick today, and I’ve missed a lot of work lately due to kid-related illness, doctor’s appointments, or whatever, so I brought him in to my work and he laid on my office floor in a sleeping bag (mostly playing DS and iPad and reading) while I worked.  And he was great, aside from trying to talk my ear off about his pokemon, requiring a gentle reminder now and again that I actually did need to get some work done.  But the challenge was when he had to pee.  My office is in a big corporate building, with a shared restroom.  So I walk him down to the men’s room and wait outside the door.  For a really long time.  And just when I am beginning to worry about him, a guy goes into the restroom.  Then I wonder if I should have stopped the guy and asked him to find out if D fell in or something.  But this was a total stranger and didn’t even necessarily work in the building.  And then I start to worry even more.  Just when I am about to find someone to fish my kid out of the bathroom, he comes out.  I am sure he was just playing with the automatic sinks and soap and stuff, but it was more harrowing than a trip to the restroom ought to be.


2 Responses to “Women’s Studies 101”

  1. Michael says:

    “Peeing!” — This is why Charles is my friend.

    I’m glad D was able to spend the day recovering – he was continually sniffling on the way home Sunday (fish will be caught one of these outings – now it’s getting personal). Hopefully he managed to capture some more Pokemons or something – I had no idea the game had that much depth…

  2. molly says:

    Some day I actually have to play the pokemon game so that I can figure out what he is always trying to tell me. I doubt it will be as fun as lego batman, though… When are you going to come over and play?

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